Eat It, Damn It!

Reviews, raves, slams, and damns.

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Melt Sandwich Shop

It took me a long time to make it over to Melt. For a long time I confused it with Melt Shop. I figured that it was a place for grilled cheese and various grilled cheese-like items. It turns out, I was very wrong. Though the name is similar, the two are not affiliated.

Melt has a really cool concept. First, pick the casing that will provide the outer layer of your sandwich. There is flatbread, roll, or hero. Second, pick a meat (there is a veggie option of some kind as well). Finally, pick a sauce, cheese, topping combo.

Wrapped Flatbread
I went with flatbread ($7.95). They make their own in house. It was fluffy and tasty, just airy enough to not be tough, but with enough resistance and heft to not be a wrap. It was like a pliable focaccia. Since they make grilled pizza, this is probably taken from the same mold. Very well executed.

Second, I went with the grilled chicken. Though it was chopped up, which is usually a sure-fire path to drying it out, the meat stayed moist and delicious. Absolutely great. From other reviews I read elsewhere, it appears that people really enjoy the pork and beef offering, but I would have a very hard time going with something else. Grilled chicken appears to be a mystery to many places, but Melt get’s it just right.

For the topping, I went with the Cheddar Bacon option. It wasn’t very heavy on the bacon. Don’t order it and expect thick slices of bacon. It may have been pre-made and put together with the cheese. Perhaps is was made earlier and chopped up to sprinkle on. There was enough there to add to the taste of the sandwich. The option also comes with tomato and chipotle sauce. This chipotle sauce has the right amount of creaminess and kick. It’s not going to burn off anyone’s taste buds, but one might feel a little tingle on the lips.

Bacon Cheddar Chicken Flatbread
Check out how filled that bad boy is with chicken. Even though I took a little while to start digging in (I was playing with my phone), it was still piping hot once I got around to eating.

Though the flatbread was delicious, and I think a great choice, the toppings are very juicy. This is not something you want to eat on the run. You will wear a good portion of your lunch. There is a reason that the proprietors gave me a fork along with my sandwich.

The portion is very sizable. You will not need chips or a side salad.

The folks at Melt are very friendly. They remembered me on repeat visits. I got to talking with one of the staff. Though they do not currently have a gluten-free option, they are working on a recipe. “We’re playing with the mixture.” Accordingly, most people that are gluten intolerant just order the meat, sauce, and cheese options and then get it over a salad.

Melt does not have much seating. Unless you get there early or go late, getting a seat is a crap shoot. Nevertheless, they are a destination spot. The staff is clearly concerned with putting out a quality product and satisfying their customers. Furthermore, their prices are very reasonable for the quality and quantity of the meal.

Melt Sandwich Shop
277 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
914-358-1364
(Google Map)

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East Side Pockets

MFG (My Former Girlfriend) wanted to see WaterFire. Basically, it’s a bunch of urns with wood set aflame inside along the water in the middle of Providence, Rhode Island. After traipsing up and down, we needed a bite to eat.

Nearby the downtown area is Brown University. Near Brown University are a bunch of bars (as is usually the norm in any college town). Nearby the bars are places to eat, in particular, cheap food that can be served up quickly to inebriated college students. One of these places is East Side Pockets.

East Side Pockets Door
They bill themselves as “The Home of Middle Eastern & Vegetarian Food”. Perfect for a college audience. There isn’t a huge waiting area, but the folks at East Side have staffed themselves very well for quick turnaround. A couple people are available to take your order. They also do some assembly. There are one or two guys working the grill and then one or two more preparing the bags to go and working the register. Even though there was a decent line when MFG and I arrived, it moved very quickly.

Falafel Appetizer
We started off with their Falafel appetizer ($4.17). Though listed in the appetizer section, these Falafel are huge! Six enormous Falafel with “yogurt cucumber sauce” and hummus. I would call the stuff under the Falafel “pita”, but the menu says “Syrian bread”. They can call it whatever they like, it was fresh, hot, and delicious. This appetizer is a meal unto itself. Order to share, or just have it with a soup. It is plenty.

The Falafel is tasty, but not exemplary. The flavor is not bad, but it is just a little dull. They are very well prepared with a crunchy exterior and a meaty but tender inside. As I said before, the portion is more than generous. The cucumber sauce helps. The hummus was the standout of this dish. It was very creamy and bright. There was a little zing from some lemon. It was not a bad dish, but don’t order it if you are looking for a flavor explosion.

Middle Eastern Salad
MFG got a Middle Eastern Salad. Take a salad, add some Grape Leaves, Falafel, Hummus on the side, and you’ve got the Middle Eastern Salad. The Grape Leaves were very tasty, a little vinegar bite and a tasty interior. MFG gave the salad a thumbs up.

Chicken Soup
Since it was an especially cold out, Chicken Soup ($3.93) was in order. This is a fair dish. Nothing special, but it was hot and fresh.

Gyro Pocket
Not knowing that the Falafel appetizer would be so huge, I also got a Gyro Pocket ($6.71). Once again, a good offering, but the gyro meat was not the flavor bomb I was hoping to experience.

My review of East Side Pockets may seem underwhelming, but it is not a thumbs-down. The food is fresh, quickly prepared, and very reasonably priced. On the other hand, it is not someplace that is going to haunt my dreams. I have come to expect more bold tastes from Middle Eastern food. While this restaurant was tasty, it was not exciting.

East Side Pockets
278 Thayer Street
Providence, RI 02906
401-453-1100
(Google Map)